Upgrade For Royal Navy Minehunters Powers Ahead

Portsmouth, Unit­ed King­dom — BAE Sys­tems has secured a £15 mil­lion con­tract as part of a major over­haul project to replace the 30 year old propul­sion sys­tems onboard the Roy­al Navy’s eight Hunt Class mine coun­ter­mea­sure ves­sels.

 BAE Systems
Mine­hunters Mid­dle­ton and Chid­ding­fold
Source: BAE Systems

The equip­ment pro­cure­ment con­tract comes on the back of the Company’s suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of the tech­ni­cal rec­om­men­da­tion for a new propul­sion and machin­ery con­trol sys­tem to the Min­istry of Defence. Reflect­ing BAE Sys­tems’ com­mit­ment to help dri­ve down oper­a­tional costs and max­imise avail­abil­i­ty of the fleet, its engi­neers have pro­posed a mod­ern, reli­able and sup­port­able, propul­sion sys­tem using com­mer­cial off the shelf equip­ment. This will not only min­imise ini­tial pro­cure­ment costs, but will also ensure spares are read­i­ly avail­able for future repair and main­te­nance work. 

John Wal­ton, Mine War­fare Marine Engi­neer­ing Man­ag­er, for Defence Equip­ment and Sup­port, said: “Low­er through life costs and bet­ter reli­a­bil­i­ty of the mine­hunters is essen­tial to enable the Roy­al Navy to car­ry out its oper­a­tional com­mit­ments, which includes pro­tect­ing valu­able ship­ping lanes. 

“The design of the new propul­sion and machin­ery con­trol sys­tem will reduce the upkeep main­te­nance load on the ship’s staff and increase avail­abil­i­ty of the ves­sel for oper­a­tional duties. It also takes sig­nif­i­cant­ly less space and the lay­out makes it more acces­si­ble, pro­vid­ing bet­ter work­ing con­di­tions for Roy­al Navy engi­neers car­ry­ing out main­te­nance and repairs, often in dif­fi­cult cli­mat­ic conditions.” 

Mark Drap­er, Hunt Re-Propul­sion Project Man­ag­er at BAE Sys­tems, added: “This major upgrade work will be car­ried out over the next six years by sup­port engi­neers at our facil­i­ties in Portsmouth. 

“The first new propul­sion sys­tem is expect­ed to be installed onboard HMS Chid­ding­fold in late 2011, with upgrades to the remain­ing sev­en Hunt Class tak­ing place dur­ing planned ship dock­ing peri­ods up to 2016, in order to max­imise effi­cien­cy and avoid dis­rup­tion to avail­abil­i­ty of the fleet.” 

Cus­tomer sup­port and ser­vices activ­i­ty accounts for a sig­nif­i­cant and grow­ing part of BAE Sys­tems’ busi­ness world­wide. In Octo­ber 2009, the Com­pa­ny was appoint­ed Class Out­put Man­ag­er for the Roy­al Navy’s Hunt Class ves­sels, which means that it acts as a sin­gle point of con­tact respon­si­ble for all repair, main­te­nance and upgrades for the Hunt Class. The re-propul­sion project is the first major upgrade to be ini­ti­at­ed under the Class Out­put Man­age­ment approach and will involve the instal­la­tion of new engines, gear­box­es, bow thruster sys­tems, pro­pellers and machin­ery con­trol sys­tems to sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve oper­a­tional avail­abil­i­ty and reli­a­bil­i­ty of the ships. 

BAE Sys­tems has already down select­ed Northrop Grum­man Sper­ry Marine to pro­vide the Machin­ery Con­trol Alarm and Sur­veil­lance Sys­tems, Finning UK to sup­ply the engines, gear­box­es and bow thrusters, and Stone Marine Propul­sion to pro­vide the Pro­pellers for the ships. 

About BAE Sys­tems

BAE Sys­tems is a glob­al defence, secu­ri­ty and aero­space com­pa­ny with approx­i­mate­ly 107,000 employ­ees world­wide. The Com­pa­ny deliv­ers a full range of prod­ucts and ser­vices for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced elec­tron­ics, secu­ri­ty, infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy solu­tions and cus­tomer sup­port ser­vices. In 2009 BAE Sys­tems report­ed sales of £22.4 bil­lion (US$ 36.2 billion). 

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion please con­tact:
Kristi­na Crowe, BAE Sys­tems
Tel: +44 (0) 239 289 6232 Mob: +44 (0)7540628673

BAE Systems 

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